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Lerk

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Lerk last won the day on January 11

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About Lerk

  • Rank
    Skeptic
  • Birthday 08/18/1959

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  • Website URL
    https://www.ex-christian.net/blogs/blog/208-be-ready-always-to-give-an-answer/

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Houston, Texas
  • Interests
    science, energy
  • More About Me
    I am a computer programmer, married over 35 years, with two grown children. My wife's father was a minister, and our younger son is a minister. My older son, fortunately, discovered the truth awhile back. The real truth, not the "capital 'T' Truth".

    Still attending church weekly. I was actually outed once, but seeing how badly that was going to go I jumped back into the closet. That has turned out to be pretty comfortable because people don't expect anything from me now, religiously speaking.

    I've explained to my wife how I came to understand that it was all mythology, but she really doesn't want to believe it, and I still say a prayer with her at dinner! But we're starting to skip that more often.

    In some ways, Christianity has kept my life and my family stable, and I appreciate the regular moral training about being a responsible citizen and family member, and about caring for others. I don't know that, without the "you have to be there every week" attitude, I would ever have accepted that training and my life may not be as good as it is. Then again, my life could easily have been better, and churches certainly don't have a monopoly on morality. (In fact, sometimes they're just downright immoral.)

    On the other hand, I wish I had all of those Sundays back to spend with my family doing things that would have kept us closer. I can't really blame religion for a lack of recreation in my life, as many 3-time-a-week Christians do, in fact, spend more time in recreation with their families than I did. My problem may just be the fact that I was just too "responsible", and I don't know whether religion did that, or if I was just born that way. (I know I have always tried to do what was expected of me, even as a child, so it may just be my neurological makeup.)

    Regardless, I wish I had the Sundays back, and that all of that money given to the church could have been used for enjoying life with my family.

    Regarding how I came to realize that Jehovah is a myth like all other gods, it was in church, and I was 52 years old, when the preacher read a couple of verses of Genesis 3. Having turned there I read the entire chapter and realized, for the first time, that there was no Satan in the chapter. It was an ordinary snake! I knew I didn't believe it as written, and that neither did anyone else present. We had, all of our lives, believed that Satan had used the serpent, yet the Bible said nothing of the kind. There's not a single person in that church, not a single person I know, who believes Genesis chapter 3, yet nearly everyone says it is true.

Previous Fields

  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?
    No

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  1. You don't say whether you've told your wife you don't believe it anymore. I hope so! If she doesn't really believe but is hoping you'll convince her, you might want her to know that you both are actually on the same page. As far as the community, would it be that hard for you and your wife to just "drift away" without formally declaring that you don't the mythology? That's tough in the Church of Christ (where I'm still a member) because the elders keep tabs on people, but I don't know about the Baptist church. If it's a big church, it seems possible that no one would notice. If it weren't for
  2. That's the biggest sin the CoC recognizes!
  3. Ah, yes, the "Harmony of the Gospels" study, where you skip around ostensibly to get the stories in the right order, but really you're skipping over the contradictions.
  4. When I was a believer I used to say that if the US were ever to switch to the international standard (Monday is the ISO first day of the week) I'd have to start going to church on Monday. Christians don't worship on the Sabbath, they worship on "the Lord's Day", the first day of the week, the day that Jesus rose from the grave. That was my version of the mythology, anyway.
  5. I actually go with her, yet every once in a while she can't seem to help expressing her dismay that I'm a non-believer. We had a nice little argument the other night. I will not bring it up, but if she's going to go on the offensive I'm going to 1) defend myself and 2) turn it around on her. She stated that nearly everyone in the world believes in gods and accused me and our atheist son of thinking we're smarter than the majority. I asked, then, whether she thought she was smarter than the people who believed in the "wrong" gods or in people like me who didn't think there were any such things
  6. I'm not so sure. Seems like not worrying about what "the other kids" (i.e. the people in your life) think might be a sign of a sociopath. I did get good at saying "no" when I was still a believer. "No, I don't teach Bible class." Being halfway in and halfway out of the closet has allowed me to completely quit participating in the assembly. Sorry (not sorry), I'm not leading singing. My wife is embarrassed just anticipating that someone may ask her why I don't participate, because that's the way we've lived our lives. How do I decide what to do in my life? Well, what would people ex
  7. We had that discussion yesterday. The thing I really hate (and that I explained to her) is going by myself. As long as we're in the same denomination (that calls itself non-denominational) we have connections that might result in unwanted feedback if I were to just drop out. Social/societal pressure stinks. I really hate going into a crowded church building. (Or crowded any other kind of place, for that matter.) For a number of years after the kids left I actually didn't mind too much going to church because I would just sit in an inconspicuous spot and read books on my phone. But
  8. It's really ironic. A lot of Churches of Christ started doing some sort of online thing. Some would have just a few people go down to the building, and they'd go through all of the motions with some sort of streaming. People would buy their own matzoh bread and grape juice and do the Lord's Supper at the appropriate time, and send in their contribution via PayPal. My wife has various health issues, and so she misses most Sunday mornings, but will often make it on Sunday night. (In the CoC you have two Sunday services, with the Lord's Supper served in the evening for anyone who coul
  9. I take it you're not necessarily around your family a lot, but in communication enough that you hear the stuff all of the time. But you're not going to church any more? I don't really know about your family, but I think I'd want to make sure my child knew I didn't believe in gods and such just so when they inevitably start to question the religion they know they have nothing to fear. And you don't want them to just think you're a backslider, but actually a non-believer. (My kids were grown and gone before I realized that Christianity was BS, so I don't actually have experience in t
  10. I call that my “wait... what?” moment.
  11. I think you're right. I'm getting closer and closer to just saying I'm not doing it anymore. I really don't think my believing son would cut me off, although it might be tense for awhile. And nobody else matters. He's literally the only one I'm worried about.
  12. Sorry, I've been neglecting Ex-C for awhile, it seems! It's a very long story. Yes, it's hard. I've explained it elsewhere in detail, but to make it short, my family has a very long history in the Non-Institutional Churches of Christ. My mother's parents were members. (My grandfather was a member, and he converted my grandmother who had been a 7th Day Adventist.) He was "out of duty" (church-of-christ-ese for people who haven't been going to church for awhile) but when he got a job in Port Arthur, TX during the depression, a CoC member he worked with got them to going to church aga
  13. Yes and no. I feel a lot better because the world makes so much more sense. I feel better because I’m better able to see how people really are and to empathize with them. But I live in a world that’s still obsessed with Christianity, where my wife is terrified that people might find out I’m a non-believer, where I have to have a “don’t ask, don’t tell” relationship with one of my adult children, and that keeps me coming back here and reading Patheos Nonreligious all of the time. If I were okay, I wouldn’t bother with those things. The conflict in my mind over having to (minimally) pretend is s
  14. Lerk

    Hell

    I’m way late to this conversation... haven’t been on the site at all lately. I really think that if my wife weren’t so afraid of Hell she might have deconverted right along with me 8 years ago, or 3 years ago when I was outed and ended up agreeing to an online study with a preacher. The preacher’s answers to my questions were inadequate, and she could see that. It really scared her that she could see that there wasn’t a good reason to believe! Belief in Hell kept her in, and led her to come up with mental tricks to re-convince herself about the Bible. Fortunately for me, I n
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